Thought the group might find this cross post of interest.
Jeff Linzer MD MICP
Division of Emergency Medicine
Egleston and Hughes Spalding Children's Hospitals
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 10:45:04 -0800
From: Tom Scott <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
To: EMED-L <[log in to unmask]>, EMS-L <[log in to unmask]>,
emed-informatics <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Interesting use of the internet
Emergency rooms to put availability on Internet
New site to help ambulance services, paramedics decide where to take
patients during busy times
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thu, Feb 05 1998
Emergency rooms in Milwaukee-area hospitals normally bitterly competitive
are voluntarily linking to an Internet site designed to provide
continuously updated information on the number of surgeons and beds
Starting next month, the Web site called the EM System program will be
used to help coordinate patient care during disasters and at other times,
said Bill Bazan, vice president of the Wisconsin Health and Hospital
Association for the Milwaukee Area, the organization sponsoring the site.
Hospitals will let ambulance companies and paramedics know which emergency
departments are available to take patients and what levels of care are
Emergency departments occasionally fill up, and ambulance companies and
Milwaukee County Paramedics need current information so they can transport
patients to the nearest hospital with available services, Bazan said.
The new system replaces an older one, developed by the now-defunct
Hospital Council of Greater Milwaukee Area, in which dedicated computers
were located in every emergency department and ambulance company, Bazan
The Web site is designed to eliminate the expense of tying up a computer
for just one purpose in an emergency room, Bazan said. It also will offer
more current information.
Edward Barthell, a physician and executive vice president of Infinity
Healthcare Inc., a group of emergency medical physicians who staff
emergency departments in the Milwaukee area, said the older system could
take up to 45 minutes to log emergency room information. The new system
logs the information immediately, he said.
Infinity Healthcare has a contract with the hospital association to run
the program, which will tie all the emergency rooms into one information
system, he said.
Barthell said the system's speed would be particularly useful in
disasters, when quick decisions on where to transport the injured can save
"These are all cutthroat competitors," Barthell said of the hospital
networks. "But they have the spirit of cooperation, which is what you need
in a disaster."
John Whitcomb, director of emergency services at St. Luke's Medical
Center, said disasters can overwhelm hospital resources.
He added that the system also will be useful in smaller-scale accidents.
In traffic accidents, for example, it would help emergency personnel
decide which hospitals would be best at that particular time for treating
various injuries, he said.
"We are like a larger organism all working together," he said.
Each hospital will be charged $400 a year to participate. Bazan said
Infinity Healthcare will make no money running the program.
Barthell said the EM System program eventually will be expanded to allow
emergency rooms to pool a variety of information on the site, which could
lead to earlier detection of public health problems such as an infectious
disease outbreak or even things such as the most dangerous hills for
Tom Scott [log in to unmask]
EMS and Managed Care Consultant
+1 (619) 748-9064
Poway, San Diego County, California
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